If you see a headline that seems shocking, or inflammatory then it is probably better to read the article than to stay uninformed about the subject. They win.
The headlines of articles are made to catch our attention. We know this. The common term these days is “click bait.” Often, I worry that people are getting all of the information they feel is necessary from these headlines. Don’t get me wrong, I look at Google News on a daily basis, but do I read all of the articles? Of course not as I don’t have that much time. So I know, personally, I will formulate what the article must be talking about without reading it sometimes, just based on the headline. We’re all guilty of “judging a book by its cover” to use a more appropriate saying.
Recently, I came across an article that I had to read just because of the absurd headlines associated with the story: “Weight-loss surgery edges out lifestyle changes…” for example. What I did not see until I read the article was the “...for type 2 Diabetics” part at the end. Go figure. Actually, the article did a nice job of talking about both sides of this still very young research, and the need to not read between the lines. This study was tracking diabetic patients who were obese, and having them either do 1 of 2 types of weight loss surgery vs a hard-core lifestyle change for a year. Then, all three groups would undergo the same lighter lifestyle changes.
They have concluded, after 3 years, that the patients who did the surgeries had better outcomes than the patients who did the lifestyle modification. But what was the lifestyle modification? How where the patients tracked, and kept accountable? The article said that some patients who did the weight loss surgery were now no longer diabetic, which is great news, but do we really have to go to that extreme to become non-diabetic? I don’t think we have to. I have seen pre-diabetic patients improve their sugar and insulin levels with diet, and lifestyle changes. I have seen diabetic patients lower their numbers to become pre-diabetic.
However, I hope they continue to do this study so we can see the outcomes 10 years down the road as I have seen patients do the weight loss surgeries, and then because they did not learn how to eat, or change their habits, gain all the weight back. I have re-learned an old lesson, and that is that I need to read those would-be inflammatory articles as the conclusion I jumped to in my head from the silly headline was not what the article talked about. Thank you Andrew M. Seaman for presenting both sides of this story.
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